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Beyond Retro Rimshot Studio Credit: Karl Barron Jake Young takes a trip to the Kent countryside to visit a recording facility determined to make people feel good.

FOR DRUMMER, producer, and engineer Mike Thorne, building his own studio and house in Tunstall, Kent was just a case of finding the right place, acquiring the money, and getting on with it. But after opening Rimshot

Studio during April 2012 he found a number of problems with the construction of the live room, and so closed the facility a year later. The builder was brought in again, all equipment was put into storage, and while Thorne moved into rented accommodation the builder ‘did a runner’, leaving him with no income and huge storage costs. “A lot of it came down to these little bars that isolate the structure, which hadn’t been installed properly,” explains Thorne. “We were doing sessions in here and it was like living next door to a nightclub. It was tough.” Thankfully since Rimshot reopened in October 2013 it

32 March 2014

has undertaken a number of successful projects plus smaller mastering jobs, and Thorne recently recorded rock band David Migden & The Twisted Roots in addition to jazz quartet –isq. The layout and design of

the rooms was a joint effort with architect Hugh Wray- McCann. Thorne was inspired by the oak frame in McCann’s office, which he saw on TV show Grand Designs, so used him for the majority of the studio. “I want to have an

environment to work in that inspires me as well as the people that come in,” says Thorne. “When people walk in I want them to feel like their energy level and their performance steps up a gear because of the space they’re in.”

The M2 motorway is

roughly half a mile from Rimshot, so on the advice of Kevin van Green from Green & Green Audio,Thorne

acquired airport glass and placed all of the live room’s acoustic treatment in the roof. It’s a very versatile space that can be used wide open, with a very natural acoustic

“I’m not a retro gear junkie.

Everything we’ve got is here because I think it’s the best at what it does.” Mike Thorne

for piano or string sessions, or closed down with screens, to achieve a tighter sound. A six-metre-high booth is

often used for drums, although while it’s not on a huge footprint it has proved a versatile space. Thorne is keen to do something simple with the wall where he can raise and lower the roof slightly to vary the acoustic. The live room can take about

80 people and Thorne is eager to record live gigs later this year. Green designed the

control room to Thorne’s brief. It’s a room within a

room so the walls go back about a metre each side. You can hear the change in acoustics between the control room and the live room straight away. It’s got enough

Mike Thorne Credit: Karolina Amberville

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